10 Things to Do in East Lyme That You Shouldn't Miss

December 20, 2017 Janean Rudisill

East Lyme is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 19,159 at the 2010 census. The villages of Niantic and Flanders are located in the town.
Restaurants in East Lyme

1. Florence Griswold Museum

96 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371-1426 +1 860-434-5542
Excellent
75%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 196 reviews

Florence Griswold Museum

A 13-acre museum campus with a historic home museum, a modern art gallery with changing exhibitions, and gardens and river frontage along the delightful Lieutenant River. Visitors enjoy seasonal events including June's GardenFest and October's Wee Faerie Village. Discovery Sundays (April - September) give visitors of all ages the opportunity to take a mini-lesson in landscape painting and create their own masterpiece on the extensive grounds of the Museum. Visitors can enjoy lunch on the veranda at the outdoor Cafe Flo (May-October), and find unique gifts, exhibition catalogs and more at the Museum Shop. The Museum is named for Miss Florence Griswold, who at the turn of the 20th century opened her home as a boardinghouse which quickly became popular with American artists including Childe Hassam and Willard Metcalf. Museum docents share tales of the Lyme Art Colony and this home of American Impressionism. Check FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for a calendar of events and exhibitions.

Reviewed By ZCC414 - Sevenoaks District, United Kingdom

I really enjoyed my visit to Florence's home and boarding house. The volunteers interpreting the house were great with wonderful stories about the house and paintings. The dinning room is amazing- a magical room.

I wasn't so keen on the art gallery with the exhibitions although some of the paintings on display had interesting stories.

I felt the introductory video was long, repetitive and I didn't stay to see it all as a result which I then discovered meant I missed the explanation about the panel paintings. The introductory video at Olana is brilliant at setting the scene if the museum is thinking of doing a new one...

2. The Submarine Force Museum

1 Crystal Lake Rd, Groton, CT 06349-2300 +1 800-343-0079
Excellent
73%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 749 reviews

The Submarine Force Museum

The home of the world's first nuclear submarine has several other exhibits on the history of submarines.

Reviewed By mclemons - Blacksburg, Virginia

I visited this museum during the summer of 2017. It was a great experience. First, you enter the museum area which has a lot of naval information, including history and information about our current US Navy. I am a Navy veteran myself, so this was very nostalgic.

As you make your way through the museum, you eventually come to the doorway that leads you the the USS Nautilus; a floating museum inside the first commissioned nuclear powered sub in the US Navy.

The walkways throughout the inside of the submarine are tight, which is to be expected. You travel along a predetermined route. There are also audio tours available for those interested.

In my opinion, this is a great experience for all ages. It's a must-see if you are visiting the area. The one word of caution I have is if you are concerned at all with tight spaces or tight stairwells, the submarine aspect may be one to skip. It does get a little tight in areas.

3. Harkness Memorial State Park

275 Great Neck Rd, Waterford, CT 06385-3823 +1 860-443-5725
Excellent
72%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 152 reviews

Harkness Memorial State Park

This 1906 Roman Renaissance Classical Revival-style mansion belonged to philanthropist Edward Harkness.

Reviewed By LFS517 - Lakewood, Colorado

Even though it was late summer, there were still some nice flowers in the gardens. We enjoyed walking around the gardens and peeking in the mansion windows.

4. The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village

1650 Hartford New London Tpke, Oakdale, CT 06370-1715 +1 860-443-4367
Excellent
47%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 211 reviews

The Dinosaur Place at Nature's Art Village

Fun Family Activities Encounter over 40 life-sized dinosaurs on our 1.5 miles of Dinosaur Trails in our unique dinosaur park, monkey around at Monty's Playground, get lost in our A"Maze"asaurus, and cool off at the Splashpad (New England's largest zero-depth water playground)! If you get hungry, fill up at Monty's Munchies or grab a sweet treat at the Ice Cream Shop. Whether it is an outing with the family, or your child's birthday there are fun family activities for every age.

Reviewed By mn984 - Lebanon, Connecticut

It is somewhat pricey but the grounds are well kept and interesting. we took our 3 year old twin grand children and had fun. Would be better if they were a little older. I think there should be a reduced rate for kids 7 and younger.

5. The Book Barn

41 W Main St, Niantic, CT 06357-2329 +1 860-739-5715
Excellent
86%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 191 reviews

The Book Barn

Reviewed By Brian G - Middletown, Connecticut

This store has 10,000's of books on numerous subjects, distributed throughout at least three different locations in Niantic. You can find many obscure titles here. Prices are very reasonable, and books are in good condition. If you want to take your old books to a place besides your local town dump, perhaps you should consider trading them in here. Brian Ghilliotti

6. Niantic Bay Boardwalk

Baptist Lane To Main Street At Niantic River Bridge, East Lyme, CT
Excellent
60%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 70 reviews

Niantic Bay Boardwalk

Reviewed By Lora W

This was a highlight of our trip to CT! During the last weekend of good weather in October, we walked and played on the beach and watched the locals doing the same thing! The bridge for the train was surprisingly quiet when it raised and lowered. Such a peaceful place.

7. Naskart

1 Sachatello Industrial Dr, Montville, CT 06370-1859 +1 860-444-7700
Excellent
72%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 7 reviews

Naskart

NASKART is the world's largest indoor, multi-level karting facility! In addition to the kart facility we also house a 8,000sqft trampoline park1 Just watching? Enjoy our cafe and full service bar. Our 110,000 sqft climate controlled facility is located just minutes from 395, and only 15 min from Mohegan Sun! NASKART is fun for all ages!

Reviewed By Katrina B - New Windsor, New York

My husband has been talking about Naskart for months now, and for our anniversary, we decided to set out to the area for here and the casinos. The place is very easy to get to and is a huge industrial park. The front desk attendant was very helpful, and so was the briefing instructor. The place is gigantic. If you love go-karts, you need to come here! The workers who get you set up obviously care and enjoy (they put on a good facades if they don't!) their jobs. My husband and I enjoyed a few rounds and were happy that we made it. I believe it was the manager on duty, Cody?, was very helpful as they were able to accommodate us at the end of the night and let us get some extra time on the track. I hope to return back in the not so distant future. The only thing I would suggest to them is to make sure that the workers on the tracks actually do their jobs of holding signs up when appropriate. Unfortunately during our heats there were two female workers who seemed to be on their phones on their podiums, and didn't wave down people to pass. For individuals who needed to take care of riders safety, it seemed like it was an inconvenience. This only occurred on the first day we stopped in and was one minor incident. Can't wait to come back!

8. Rocky Neck State Park

244 W Main St, East Lyme, CT 06357-1015 +1 860-739-5471
Excellent
39%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
4%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 164 reviews

Rocky Neck State Park

Reviewed By MarknJulie51212 - Connecticut

We went to this beach recently and was glad it wasn't closed due to bacteria. Parking is pricey and if you like brown cold water, this is the place for you. No toys or rafts allowed in the water....I'm 34 years old and I was disappointed. Try Harkeness park instead.

9. The PAST Antiques Marketplace & The Gateway Museum

1650 Hartford New London Tpke, Nature's Art Village, Oakdale, CT 06370-1715 +1 860-437-3615
Excellent
56%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 25 reviews

The PAST Antiques Marketplace & The Gateway Museum

The PAST Antiques Market & Museum at Nature's Art Village, an antique shopper's delight and a collector's showcase featuring both Southeastern Connecticut's newest antique shopping emporium and an amazing 6,000 sq ft museum of historic marvels from steam engines to search engines.

Reviewed By RamonaL34

The Past Antiques Marketplace is a great place for antiques and a browse about. There are two levels to look at. The downstairs level has over 60 vendors and there is everything down there from tools, jewelry, toys, Pyrex glassware, comics, postcards, clothes, ornaments, books, tins, furniture, military memorabilia, etc. The prices are also very reasonable.

If you like antiques make sure you have over and hour to get through both levels.

10. Three Belles Outfitters

113 Oswegatchie Hills Rd, Niantic, CT 06357-2700 +1 860-739-6264
Excellent
94%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 15 reviews

Three Belles Outfitters

Three Belles outfitters is a authorized Hobie dealer as well as paddle sport shop where you can buy or rent some of the best gear out there. Open year round the Paddle Board and Kayak rental business runs from Memorial day though late September.

Reviewed By Cherbertct

I would highly recommend this marina business. Very cool staff especially Tay O and Devon. Thanks for hooking us up with a new water adventure. I tried the new stand up paddle pedal board. So cool. Great location.

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